It's Kitten Season...Again!
Updated: May 9
"Kittens are smile creators."
It's true. It's hard to look at an adorable kitten and not smile. They're just so darn cute!
We love kittens. We can't resist them, we can't get enough photos and videos of them, and we'll find any excuse to play with them. And we'd like kittens to have safe, warm homes, not be born outside without shelter, to mamas who are strays.
Because the fact is, life is tough out there for a wild kitty.
In today's blog, I invite you to enjoy some of the many kittens and mamas RappCats have sheltered, fed, provided medical care to, and found loving homes for over the years. Right now, as I write, we have 5 litters placed in foster homes within the county. Some babies in those litters have already found loving homes; others are waiting for their adopters to appear.
Mimi & Spanky: Their 2 littermates were recently adopted.
These two cuties are still available and waiting for their purrfect home!
How Do You Produce 80 Million Cats?
Just allow two cats and their surviving offspring to breed for 10 years. In that time, you’ll have produced 80,399,780 cats (this assumes two litters per year and 2.8 surviving kittens per litter).
Those numbers are hard to believe, aren't they? And what happens to all those babies?
I find stray kittens all the time. I've literally tripped over a lone kitten out in the field. I've discovered litters in barns, in abandoned buildings, under porches, and behind sheds. Sometimes the mama is with them, and sometimes she's out hunting for dinner. And sometimes, she doesn't make it back. Those kittens won't survive.
Animal control officers and volunteers for rescues and shelters are all-too-familiar with heart-breaking kitten stories. While some babies make it safely to adulthood, many don't. When circumstances are challenging - severe weather, a missing mama, nearby predators, lack of food, or ill health -they're just too vulnerable to survive.
RappCats takes in kittens all year round. Many come in with respiratory or eye infections. We do whatever it takes to get them healthy - vet visits, medicine, hand-feeding. We make batches of homemade high calorie "kitty protein shakes" and use tiny syringes to get the needed nutrition into those tiny mouths. Usually, it all turns out fine. Underweight kittens catch up with their littermates, and are soon tumbling about in the crowd.
Our kittens don't stay in our Flint Hill shelter. They need more time and one-on-one attention and we have to find foster families with kitten experience. (We're happy to teach motivated newbies how to foster too!). We have a few fosters who are seldom without kittens. Sometimes the mama cat is part of the group. Sometimes, even though we try hard to locate the mama, we never find her. As awful as it is to think about it, some kittens were probably intentionally dumped.
These two were found along the road and fostered by Lesley, our shelter manager.
We get kittens of all ages. We've had volunteers sit in a circle cradling kittens, each person with a blanket and syringe (and a smile on their face).
Even our teen volunteers help care for kittens - what a great learning experience!
Did you know that kittens in a single litter can have different fathers?
There can even be as many fathers as there are kittens!
"Superfecundation" happens more often than you might think.
In stray cats it’s fairly common.
...With strays, too often it's babies having babies...
A cat can get pregnant as soon as she's about four months old!
That's why it is so important to spread the word:
spaying needs to happen around this time!
Pregnancy in felines lasts about two months. A cat stays pregnant between 63 to 67 days, though it may be as long as 72 days. Often, a cat won't display signs of pregnancy until two or three weeks into her term.
There are usually between one to 10 kittens in a litter. First-time mamas tend to give birth to smaller litters - perhaps two or three kittens. Older cats also tend to have smaller litters. It's hard on a mama when she's too young or too old.
Greer was a great mama!
All her babies and Greer herself have found wonderful homes!
RappCats needs more fosters to help care for kittens. It's a wonderful experience! And if you have teenagers or children who love animals, fostering will get them away from video games and social media! For the whole family, the rewards are tremendous. Let us know if you can help - even if you're not experienced, we'd love to talk with you!
There's always one who's a little special!
I hope you've enjoyed learning about the work RappCats does with kittens in our community. This year we've ramped up our efforts to help our neighbors in Rappahannock County pay for getting their cats (stray or pets) spayed or neutered.
Just call us to get on our list - we have some spaces left!
"Can YOU help us out?"
This little guy wants to remind you that May 9th is a
VERY SPECIAL DAY!
It's GIVE LOCAL PIEDMONT -
the day we support our community
non-profits & show some love!
If you are able to give to help us with the costs of caring for our community's abandoned cats and kittens,
please click here to go to Giving Local Piedmont:
As always, thanks for reading my blog and many thanks to all of your who support our work. We could not do it without you!
Meow for now! Kitty kisses!
RappCats relies entirely on private donations
from animal lovers like you. If you'd like to contribute t to our cats' shelter, medical, and care expenses, please consider a donation. We can't do what we do without your support.
Please send this blog to your friends & family, and post it on social media so others will understand our work, and can choose to support RappCats.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Donations in the form of checks and money orders are also accepted and can be sent to:
RappCats P.O. Box 307 Washington, VA 22747
We have a supply "Wish List" on Chewy's website.
Click on their logo below if you'd like to see what we currently need.